4 Winning Examples of Personalized Marketing

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Unsure how to weave personalization into your small-business marketing strategy? Here are 4 actionable examples of personalized marketing to get things started.

hero image for personalized marketing

When it comes to marketing, if content is king, personalized marketing is the ace of spades.

To keep up with customer expectations, marketing teams of all sizes and in all industries are increasing their investment in personalization, a move that could render your marketing strategy out-of-date.

Marketing with generic content falls short of personalized content that delivers a stronger customer experience across the buyer journey.

If your small business hasn’t already, it’s time to start implementing smart personalization tactics into your marketing strategy.

A January 2019 Gartner study found that 55% of surveyed marketing leaders have increased resources devoted to personalization since 2017 and that for 36% of marketing teams the responsibility for personalization primarily falls on them—rather than on a cross-functional team or another department (full research available to Gartner clients).

55% of marketing leaders surveyed have increased resources devoted to personalization since 2017

With businesses all around you investing in personalization, how can you ensure your business stands out? Which personalization technologies should your small business bet on?

4 examples of personalized marketing your business can bet on

1. Targeted emails

An inbox full of generic emails—even from brands you like—can feel a lot like spam. Targeted emails can transform your business’ marketing emails from ignored or deleted clutter into a powerful means of anticipating and facilitating your customers’ next purchase.

Customer segmentation feature offered by Klaviyo

Customer segmentation feature offered by Klaviyo (Source)

Imagine for a moment that you run a small, local chain of pet supply boutiques. Your marketing team has limited time and resources and wants to reach as many potential customers as it can while also trying to utilize personalization tactics.

A smart, targeted email marketing campaign is a great place to start.

Effective email marketing delivers and optimizes marketing messages across the customer lifecycle. Email marketing software can help you deliver those messages in a way that effectively targets different customer personas.

By investing in email marketing software, your pet boutique marketing team not only can target your emails based on customer personas but can also segment your contacts using demographic, psychographic, transactional, and behavioral data.

4 Winning Examples of Personalized Marketing

2. Product recommendations

Just because your pet supply store carries dog agility training equipment doesn’t mean every one of your patrons is interested in buying it.

Like those in many small businesses, your marketing team needs to be smart about what products they recommend to which buyer.

The ability to recommend an interesting, applicable product gives your business a chance to turn a one-time buyer into a loyal customer.

Personalization software makes these recommendations a breeze through features and tools such as behavioral targeting, contextual targeting, and recommendation engines. These tools harness the power of machine learning to offer predictive analytics on customer shopping patterns and can make your customers feel as if they have a dedicated personal shopper scouting out deals just for them.

If you aren’t ready to invest in personalization software quite yet, you can still take steps toward personalization with the right email marketing or marketing automation software.

A good A/B comparison tool lets your marketing team test out small-batch campaigns and make informed decisions about what kinds of products to recommend to which personas. Unsure whether to recommend that dog agility equipment to shoppers who recently purchased dog food or those who purchased a hiking harness? Run both personalized recommendations and find out!

Product recommendation template from Yusp

Product recommendation template from Yusp (Source)

3. Videos and social media

Perhaps more than anywhere else, businesses can personally interact with their customers on social media. With a strong social media presence, your small business can connect with customers and forge trust and brand loyalty within your community.

As your small business interacts with customers on Facebook and Twitter, remember that the stakes on social media can be high. Consumers want to feel as if they have some control over what they see and experience on social platforms.

That’s where personalization comes in. An effective social media marketing strategy employs social listening tools to monitor and analyze your company’s social media interactions.

Features such as conversation tracking and customer targeting enable you to personalize what your followers see and when they hear from you. Facebook offers a lot of this tracking and reporting using Facebook Pixel; this article on their business blog provides a deep dive into this tool.

The social media profile for your boutique pet supply store could track mentions and build a strategy around rewards (and dog treats) for social engagement.

A channel performance report produced by Falcon.io

A channel performance report produced by Falcon.io (source)

On the horizon

Gartner’s 2018 Cool Vendors in Personalization highlighted Storybulbs, a platform for creating personalized videos that can be integrated into your marketing campaigns. The report states that Storybulbs excels at “leveraging AI cloud services to automatically generate personalized text, images and voiceovers, enabling efficient personalized video delivery at scale.”

Gartner also praises Storybulbs’ “DIY editor access and text-to-voice capabilities,” which “provide a truly self-service video personalization platform to marketers.”

Keep an eye out for technologies and software like this in the coming months and years as opportunities to integrate machine learning and AI into your social media and video marketing continue to break into the mainstream.

4. Location-based targeting

HubSpot’s 2018 State of Inbound Study found that “72% of consumers who did a local search visited a store within five miles.” And as we pointed out in an earlier article on local marketing for small businesses, this gives small-business owners a great opportunity to build personalized awareness campaigns.

Local targeting allows your business to spend its limited social media advertising budget on users who are geographically near your business location. These localized ads are designed to be more cost-effective than traditional advertising channels, while offering more precise targeting and greater reach.

Your location-based marketing can be as simple as personalizing which Facebook ads appear depending on where users are geographically when they log in to the app. If your pet boutique has three locations, personalize your Facebook spend to make sure that the ad that appears to your customers features the nearest store’s address, phone number, and hours.

Social media monitoring dashboard for AcencyAnalytics

Social media monitoring dashboard for AcencyAnalytics (source)

Play your best hand with personalization

Your small business has limited time and resources, which can make investing in new tools and strategies feel like a big gamble.

With these actionable examples of personalized marketing to guide you, you can make informed, smart decisions about how to best personalize your marketing strategy. Whether you use all of the examples of personalized marketing listed above or chose to mix and match, be sure to personalize your personalized marketing strategy to fit the needs of your small business.

Check out these articles for more on winning marketing strategies:

Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations. They have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.

Looking for Marketing Automation software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Marketing Automation software solutions.

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About the Author


Samantha Bonanno

Sam covers Buyer Marketing at Capterra, offering insights and thought leadership on marketing trends and best practices for small and midsize businesses. An Upstate New York native, Sam spends her free time backpacking with her dogs and holding snobby opinions on craft beer and single origin coffee.


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